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Warwickshire County Cricket Club can confirm that opening batsman and former captain Ian Westwood has chosen to retire with immediate effect following a 15-year playing career.

Birmingham-born Westwood (34) played his first cricket as a bear in Warwickshire’s under 11s age-group team, and came through the development of excellence programme to make his First Class debut against India A in 2003. He was part of the team that won the County Championship title in 2004 and was made Club Captain in 2009.

Playing for my home county was all that I ever wanted to do as a junior and I am very proud to have enjoyed a 15-year career where I have been part of teams that have won the County Championship, and also captained the club.

Ian Westwood

After standing down as captain in 2010, he played a key role in helping Warwickshire to the County Championship again in 2012 and retires having played 159 First Class games for the club, scoring 16 centuries.

Commenting on the announcement, Ian Westwood, said: “Playing for my home county was all that I ever wanted to do as a junior and I am very proud to have enjoyed a 15-year career where I have been part of teams that have won the County Championship, and also captained the club.

“It has been a very difficult decision to retire, but this is the right time and I would like to thank the many people that have supported me throughout, particularly the players and coaches who I have worked with, Club Members and of course my family.

“I’m now going to enjoy a period with my family, but certainly intend to remain in cricket and will be a regular visitor to Edgbaston to catch up with the lads and support the Bears.”

Jim Troughton, First Team Coach at Warwickshire CCC and who previously played with Westwood for 12 years, said: “Westy typified the character and professionalism needed to be a true Bear.

It is a very brave decision to choose to retire at this stage of the season, but it is one that we fully respect and I am very much in favour of players leaving the game on their own terms, when they believe that it is the right time.

Ashley Giles

“Opening the batting in Division 1 Championship cricket is a real test of skill and temperament and he has exhibited this throughout his career.

“He has captained the club and been an integral part of our success over the last 13 years and he should be very proud of what he has achieved.”

Ashley Giles, Sport Director at Warwickshire CCC, said: “Westy has given everything to Warwickshire CCC since he first wore the Bear and Ragged Staff. It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with him as a player and captain.

“It is a very brave decision to choose to retire at this stage of the season, but it is one that we fully respect and I am very much in favour of players leaving the game on their own terms, when they believe that it is the right time.

“We thank Ian for his immense contribution to Warwickshire CCC and, given his love for the club, we certainly expect to see him at Edgbaston on a regular basis.”